City officials say they'll be courting a new team for Dodd Stadium.
Now that the Connecticut Defenders have officially moved to Richmond, Norwich (Ct.) city officials are turning to the next chapter in Dodd Stadium history in seeking a replacement.
We've heard all along from several team owners in recent months that the Jamestown Jammers (short season; NY-Penn League) were first in line to claim Norwich, and nothing we've heard inside baseball circles recently has countered that. The Vermont Lake Monsters (short season; NY-Penn League) are frequently discussed in the press as being a possibility to move, though recent jockeying in league circles apparently has resulted in Jamestown being pushed aside for now.
That doesn't mean there aren't other options for Norwich. First, the aforementioned Can-Am Association has got to be seen as a possible tenant for the ballpark; Norwich isn't far away from the league's Boston-area teams, and a Norwich team would be a ready-made replacement for the ill-fated American Defenders of New Hampshire.
Another option: a team in the summer-collegiate New England College Baseball League (NECBL). Despite all the uncertainty surrounding the Defenders this season, Charlie Dowd and crew managed to draw 2,000 fans a game to Dodd Stadium. Anything approaching that number would be a huge success in the NECBL.
So there are certainly options in Norwich. It may not have been a great Class AA market, but it certainly has a lot of potential for a shorter-season team — and we expect someone to step to the plate fairly quickly.
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